By: Bekah Kennedy
Disclaimer: See Part 1 for all disclaimers.
Note: Any future depiction of the Southern Baptist Church is based on my personal observation and experience. I have no disrespect for the Church as a whole and I hope no one will be offended.
Feedback: Please feed the bard! This is my first real attempt at fic and I'd love to know what you think. Keep the flames to yourself though. My e-mail addy is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday night Zoe kept an eye on the door so that she'd know as soon as Rayna entered the club. Though it had only been a day since they were last together, Zoe missed the fiery little woman. Finally, a little after ten, Rayna entered the club. Rayna caught Zoe looking at her as she came in, so she flashed her a quick wink. Rather than immediately making her way over to the bar to see Zoe, she decided to dance and talk some first. As she spoke to some friends and danced, she could feel Zoe's piercing gaze following her across the room. She was enjoying the attention but she knew she ought to stop teasing and go say hello to Zoe.
Having fun? Zoe asked with a raised eyebrow as Rayna approached.
A sheepish look swept across Rayna's face before she answered with a raised brow of her own, Sure am, having fun watching?
*You wanna play, huh? That's all right, two can play at this game.* Zoe slowly let her gaze slide down the curves of Rayna's body and back up again. Watching the color rise into the other woman's ivory cheeks, she replied huskily, Oh yeah. Definitely fun to watch.
Rayna took a moment to recover from the smoldering look she'd just received before saying, Seems to me that watching is all you do. A teasing, mischievous glint sparkled in her eye. Do you get a break anytime soon?
Yeah, in about a half hour, Zoe said slowly, Why? What have you got in mind?
Not much, just thought we could dance a little. How 'bout it?
Sure, I only get twenty minutes though.
That's fine. I just wanna see what you can do on the dance floor. I already know you can sing, now I wanna know how you move. The grin on Rayna's face was teasing. I'll be back in half an hour, be ready to dance. Rayna winked before turning away from the bar to join the throng of people on the dance floor.
Zoe was grateful for the break from the bar, the night had been quite busy and she was ready to relax for a while. Once again, she watched as Rayna caught her eye and danced her way over to meet her. You ready to dance, or what.
Sure, let's party!
Zoe placed her hand on the small of Rayna's back as she lead her onto the dance floor. A fast techno song was pounding through the club as they started to dance. Though they were dancing fast and energetically, the amount of people in the club left very little room between the two women. Rayna noticed that Zoe looked kind of uncomfortable and awkward as she tried to dance to the pulsing music. She thought it was kind of cute that the tall, confident woman was shy on the dance floor. She took Zoe's hand, grinned at her, and said, Just do what I do, and stop concentrating so hard. It's easy if you just let the music take over your body.
Zoe blushed a little but did as the spunky blonde said. She watched the way Rayna moved and did her best to imitate the movements. Soon, she stopped thinking about her own dancing and found herself lost in the other woman's swaying body. Rayna looked incredible sexy and confident as she moved her body to the music. Zoe felt the fire of arousal rush through her body as she danced and watched her friend.
The song came to an end and a much slower R & B song started. Rayna wrapped her arms around Zoe and pulled her even closer. She rested her head against Zoe's chest and guided her hands up to caress the back of her neck. She felt Zoe trail her arms down her back and wrap firmly around her waist. Both women enjoyed the sensation of their bodies rubbing sensuously as they danced. After a few moments, Rayna could no longer resist the long, graceful neck in front of her. She shifted her head slightly and softly kissed Zoe's neck. She parted her lips to run her tongue along the pulse point and felt a shiver run through Zoe's body.
Oh god. Rayna, do you know what you're doing to me? It took all of Zoe's effort to suppress a moan of pleasure.
Mmmm probably the same thing your body against mine is doing to me. Is it working? Rayna's eyes flashed with desire but still had a teasing glint as she glanced up into equally desire filled dark green eyes.
Very much so. Unfortunately though, I have to get back to work now and I don't know if I'll be able to concentrate on what I'm doing.
Oh, has something interfered with your concentration?
More like someone. A little strawberry blonde with a fiery personality, to be exact.
Oooh, sounds like a keeper to me.
Definitely! She is the most amazing woman I've ever met. Zoe winked playfully and pulled away from Rayna regretfully. With an apologetic voice she said, "I guess I better get back to work now.
Okay, I'm gonna keep dancing for a while.
Um Would you wanna come over after I get off work? I want to spend some more time with you.
I'd like that. But, um, I'll need a ride since Elena and Kasie dropped me off.
I didn't see them here.
They didn't come in. They just dropped me off because we had dinner together and it was quicker that way.
Oh, okay. I'll talk to you in a while then. Have fun dancing. Zoe said as she resumed her place behind the bar.
You ready to go, Ray?
Sure. Let's roll. Rayna said as they stepped off the curb.
The two young women headed towards Zoe's navy blue Dodge Durango. She walked around to the passenger side and opened the door. Rayna grinned at Zoe for the sweet gesture as she hopped up on her seat. After checking to make sure Rayna was totally in, Zoe pushed the door shut. She walked quickly around the front of the truck and hopped in her own seat. Buckle up please. I would hate for anything bad to happen to you.
Zoe spent the short ride to her apartment talking about the funny things that she had experienced as a bartender. Rayna found herself enraptured by the silky smooth voice of her companion and her mind drifted back to the night she'd heard Zoe sing at the club.
When they arrived at the apartment, Zoe opened Rayna's door for her again. They walked up the path and waited as Zoe unlocked the door. Welcome to my humble abode. Make yourself comfortable and I'll get us some drinks.
Zoe walked into her small kitchen while Rayna looked around her living room. A large bookshelf held all kinds of poetry collections, some that Rayna was familiar with and some that she'd never heard of. There were several spiral bound journals sitting on the bookshelf as well. She wasn't sure if she should look at them because she didn't want to invade Zoe's privacy, so instead she turned her attention to the guitar sitting in the corner with a pile of handwritten scores strewn about. So this is where you do your writing, huh?
Yep, in fact, sometimes I'll sit there in the corner for hours just working on a few measures. It can take me days until I finally come up with a finished song that I'm satisfied with. Zoe returned to the living room with two glasses of Sprite. She handed one to Rayna, then settled herself on the couch.
Well, it's worth it. Your songs that I heard at the club were amazing, like nothing I've ever heard before. Rayna complimented as she sat down beside Zoe.
A blush rose to Zoe's tanned cheeks and she looked at her hands shyly as she spoke quietly, Thanks, but my music is nothing special. It's just something I do for fun.
Rayna could hardly believe this timid woman before her was Zoe. She wondered how Zoe could possibly not realize how incredible her music was. Gently she put her hand under the taller woman's chin and lifted it until Zoe was looking into her eyes. Listen to me, your music is definitely something special. In fact, I have never heard any other music that made me feel the way yours did. It was like it went straight to my heart and made me feel what you were singing. Your voice is amazing too, so smooth and emotional. How could you not know how amazing you are?
Rayna's comments were so honest and sweet that Zoe felt more proud of her music than she'd ever been. She blushed even darker but looked in the bright green eyes as she answered, Thank you, that means so much coming from you. It's just that my family always thought music was a waste of time and that I'd never amount to anything. I'm not used to having anyone actually appreciate my music. She grasped the delicate hands of her friend and brought them to her lips. Placing a kiss on the knuckles of each one, she said another quiet thanks.
Zoe held Rayna's hands for a few more moments before releasing them. Rayna gently eased herself over to snuggle against Zoe, looking up briefly to make sure her actions were welcome. What she saw was a gentle grin and twinkling eyes. Hmmm this is nice. Zoe said as she wrapped her arm snugly around Rayna. With her other arm she reached for the stereo remote and turned the radio on quietly. The two women spent more than two hours on the couch talking until they were both about to fall asleep. As they slowly got up Zoe suggested that Rayna could spend the night if she liked. Rayna readily agreed since she was so tired and she didn't have any classes the next day.
You can go ahead and sleep in my bed and I'll sleep out here. Let me just go grab my pillow.
No, I can't take your bed. I'm fine just sleeping on the couch, it's pretty comfortable anyway.
But you're my guest, I can't allow you to sleep on the couch. I'll tell you what, if it's okay with you we can both sleep in my bed. It's a queen, so there's plenty of room.
Okay, that's fine. I'll need something to sleep in though, Rayna said, motioning to her dress.
Of course. Zoe led her back to her bedroom and showed her where the bathroom was. While Rayna was cleaning up in the bathroom, Zoe dug around in her drawers for a t-shirt and some shorts for her. She pulled out the smallest ones she could find, but they would still be huge on the petite young woman. *Oh, well. It's just for one night.* Zoe thought, though in the back of her mind she hoped that Rayna would be back again. She knocked softly on the door before cracking it open enough to hand the clothes to Rayna.
A few moments later when she came out of the bathroom, Zoe couldn't suppress the grin on her face. Rayna looked adorable in the huge clothes and Zoe told her so. Then she went in the bathroom for a few minutes to get herself ready for bed. When she returned, she found Rayna sitting on the edge of the bed. I didn't know which side you prefer to sleep on, she said with a sheepish grin. Zoe smiled back and climbed in the bed on the right side and motioned for Rayna to sleep on the left. Rayna lay down on the bed leaving some space between them. They each lay awkwardly for a few moments until Zoe turned her head to look at her friend and say, C'mere you! They each giggled at their shyness as Rayna slid over to snuggle her back against the larger woman's chest. Zoe wrapped her arm around to rest on her friend's stomach and whispered a sleepy goodnight. Rayna said her own goodnight before quickly dozing off.
Early the next morning, Zoe awoke to nature's call. Sometime throughout the night she had rolled over onto her back and Rayna snuggled up to her side. One of the blonde's firm, muscular legs lay across Zoe's own, blocking her movement. Zoe was very comfortable and she didn't want to wake her friend but she could no longer ignore her bladder. She carefully slid her legs out from under Rayna's and eased herself off the bed. When she returned from the bathroom, she found herself unable to go back to sleep. Sighing, she turned over on her right side to watch Rayna sleep. Strawberry blonde hair splayed across the pillow, framing her sweet, innocent face. There was a small smile on her lips that made Zoe wonder what her friend was dreaming about. Suddenly, Rayna stirred and Zoe thought she was waking up. Instead, she nestled her head into Zoe's neck. Zoe placed an impulsive kiss on Rayna's forehead before closing her eyes, suddenly feeling tired again.
Rayna woke to find herself alone in Zoe's bed. Rolling over to glance at the clock, she noticed that it was a quarter past eleven. While she rubbed the sleepiness from her eyes she heard music coming from the living room. It was definitely Zoe playing the guitar, but Rayna did not recognize the song and guessed that it must be one of Zoe's own.
She crept quietly to the living room and stood in the doorway watching Zoe. When the taller woman paused to write down some chords, she finally noticed her audience. Oh, I'm sorry! Did I wake you?
No, I woke up on my own. Besides, it was about time I got up. Why'd you let me sleep so late, anyway?
You looked so peaceful that I couldn't bear to disturb you. Besides, it seemed like you could use the extra sleep.
You're probably right. Thanks.
You're welcome. Did you sleep okay?
Yep, I was very comfortable, Rayna answered as her face turned crimson. Although embarrassed she continued, It felt so right having your arms around me. Like--
Home? I felt the same way. With a shy grin of her own, Zoe stood and walked over to stand in front of her friend. To tell you the truth, she looked deeply into Rayna's eyes before continuing, I watched you sleeping early this morning and it felt so right having you there beside me.
Just like how it feels so right to do this, Rayna said softly as she brought her hands up behind Zoe's neck and pulled her head down so their lips met in a sweet, slow kiss.
After they pulled apart, a somewhat flustered Zoe answered, So right. I could get used to this.
Rayna responded by saying, Me too. She dropped her arms and took hold of Zoe's larger, graceful hands. She guided them over to the couch and sat down beside her. This seems like the perfect time to ask you something.
Go ahead, answered Zoe as she tried to fight the nervous clenching in her stomach. *Just when things are finally starting to happen *
I need to know what you want out of this .us. Even though we've only known each other for a short time, I've come to care about you a lot. I want to have a real, committed relationship with you and I need to know if you want that too. Because if you don't, I need to get out now before I totally lose my heart to you. Rayna unconsciously held her breath as she waited for an answer.
Zoe's stomach settled at the heart-felt words. She smiled sweetly and began speaking. There is nothing else I want more right now than to be with you. I already feel things for you that I've never felt for anyone before. I've been thinking about you all the time and waiting for the next chance to see you or talk to you. I want to be near you, to keep you safe and happy. So I guess what I'm saying is, would you be my girlfriend? Just as she spoke the last word, she felt Ray's soft lips on hers. A moment later she chuckled and said, I'll take that as a yes.
Yes! Rayna smiled and scooted over to rest against Zoe's broad shoulder. Zoe wrapped an arm around her and they each enjoyed a companionable silence as they thought about each other.
Over the next few weeks, Zoe and Rayna spent every possible moment together. They spent most of their time cuddling and talking about their pasts and their hopes and dreams for the future. Each woman was content with this arrangement, both preferring to let the relationship move slowly. Though neither was ready to have sex, they flirted and tossed around sexual innuendo constantly.
Zoe was thinking about this as she tended the bar one night. Rayna was at home sleeping because she had an early class the next morning, and Zoe found herself missing her sweet girlfriend immensely. She was in the middle of imagining the adorable blush that would creep onto Rayna's face as they would flirt when a familiar, but unwelcome, voice jolted her back to reality.
Hey baby, what do I have to do to get a drink around here? Zoe blinked her eyes before focusing them on her ex-girlfriend, Teri. She groaned inwardly but put on a fake smile and replied, Sorry, guess I drifted off. What can I get you, Teri?
I'll have a gin and tonic.
While Zoe was fixing her drink, Teri let her eyes wander leisurely over Zoe's firm body. Zoe could feel the sable-haired woman's gaze on her and it made her uncomfortable. She couldn't believe that there had once been a time when she was attracted to this dark woman. Now she felt repulsed by the big brown eyes and smirk on Teri's face. Still, she maintained the fake smile as she handed Teri her drink.
Teri purposely brushed her fingers against Zoe's as she took the glass and locked eyes with her. You're looking fine as ever, Zo. I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I was hoping we could get together and talk.
Zoe recognized the lecherous look on Teri's face and knew exactly what she'd meant by her last statement. Not wanting to make a scene, Zoe simply said, No thanks in a restrained voice.
The darker woman ran a well-manicured finger down Zoe's arm and said in a lusty voice, But we could be so good together. Don't you remember how things used to be with us?
Zoe was quickly losing her patience with her ex. She pinned Teri with a cold gaze and said, That's all in the past. I'm not interested in your tricks anymore, and I think you should leave.
Angry, Teri narrowed her eyes and sneered, This is about that little blonde, isn't it? I've seen you with her, but let me tell you somethingshe can never give you what I can. She's just a little child experimenting now that she's away from Mommy and Daddy.
Don't you ever talk about her that way! And another thing, my love life is none of your business so why don't you just get the hell out of here before I really lose my temper.
Teri just laughed and held up her hands in mock surrender. Okay, okay. You're not worth all this anyhow. She sauntered out of the club trying to look nonchalant but inside she was fuming. *You bitch! How dare you turn me down for some child! I'm gonna make you and your little friend pay for this.*
The following afternoon Zoe went to her girlfriend's apartment so they could spend time together before she had to go to work. The petite blonde could tell something was bothering her, so she coaxed Zoe to tell her what it was. Zoe hesitated, but when she saw the concern etched on Rayna's face, she decided she had a right to know what happened. Well, you remember me telling you about my ex, Teri?
Zoe reached for one of Rayna's hands before beginning the story. When she was through, she looked at the young woman to see what her reaction was. Rayna surprised her by using her free hand to softly caress Zoe's cheek. Thank you for standing up for me. You know those things she said aren't true, right?
Yeah, I just couldn't believe she had the nerve to say it. I knew she could be a real bitch, but that was low even for her.
Well, people can say some really mean things when they're jealous. It certainly doesn't excuse what she said, but I can understand why she would be jealous. I wouldn't want to let you go either if I were in her shoes.
I don't think you have to worry about that ever happening. I mean, you are so sweet and loving that I would never purposely push you away the way I had to with her. I just wanted to make sure you weren't upset with me about this. Zoe hung her head in embarrassment but Rayna lifted her chin with a delicate finger so that they were eye to eye.
Why would I be upset with you? You didn't do anything wrong, baby. Don't blame yourself for the things she said.
I just feel like I should have stopped her somehow. I mean, what if she tries to hurt you or something? I couldn't live with myself if anything were to happen to you.
Baby, nothing's gonna happen to me. I just hope that she'll leave you alone, you shouldn't have to put up with that kind of bullshit.
So what am I supposed to do?
Nothing. As long as we know that we love each other, nothing she does can change that. Rayna gave her a reassuring smile and squeezed her hand. Zoe was comforted by these actions and felt her body finally begin to relax for the first time since her run-in with Teri.
A moment later she remembered the last thing Rayna had said. D Did you just say you love me? *Oh, I must be dreaming, I could never be this lucky.*
Yes Zo, I love you very much.
Pinch me, this has to be a dream.
The shorter woman giggled and rather than pinch Zoe, gave her a long, tender kiss. No honey, you're really awake and I really do love you.
I'm so glad because I love you too. The couple shared another passionate kiss before Rayna reminded Zoe that she needed to be going if she was gonna get to the club on time. Zoe groaned but did as her cute little friend told her. She left with a promise to Rayna that she would be by the next morning to pick her up for their date.
Zoe was just on her way out the door to pick up Rayna when the phone rang. At first she was just going to ignore it and go ahead and leave, but then she thought it might be Rayna on the phone. She grabbed the receiver and in a husky voice said, Hello?
Instead of Rayna's silky voice, Zoe heard her mother's stern voice. She was both surprised and suspicious that her mother was calling. What can I do for you, mother?
Why do you automatically assume that I want something from you? Can't a woman just call her daughter to find out how she is doing?
Oh please, don't act all offended; we both know that you wouldn't call me just to chat. So why don't you go ahead and tell me why you really called. Zoe was getting annoyed and she didn't want to be late picking Rayna up.
'I'm concerned about you, Zoe. I learned something very disturbing yesterday.
Oh, and what was that?'
That you're sleeping with some little girl. Here I was thinking you'd finally grown out of this phase and repented, only to find out that you're actually turning other girls into well, you know.
The word is lesbian, why can't you just say it? Zoe snapped, not really expecting an answer. Nevermind. First off, my sex life is none of your business. Second, whoever told you that was lying. And third, I've got to go; I have plans today. So if you'll excuse
Oh, dear God, Mrs. Smith interrupted with a moan, You're running off to see Her. May the Lord have mercy on your soul. With that she started spouting Bible verses and prayers meant to make her daughter feel guilty.
Zoe slammed down the phone in anger and annoyance, effectively cutting off her mother's tangent. *Where on earth did she hear that?* Zoe pondered this question until all of a sudden the answer was clear. *Teri! I can't believe that bitch would call my mother and tell her that.*